#0015 – The State of My Union

Today’s media overruns us with blasts of negativity; the separateness of all things is what sells in our fear-based culture. For that reason, and in response to the recent State of the Union speech by our atrocious, horrible, detestable president, I offer you this lighter take on the world at large — by presenting the state of my union.

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#0014 – North Country Ramble (Big Bang in Reverse)

December ends with a bang and January enters with low light, emitting a hollow hum that reverberates through the cold stillness. By the time I get out of bed, dress in socks, shirt, and pants, I’m nearly spent. It’s a time of hibernation in the North Country, which is the reason why these rambles took so long to reach your waiting ears.

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#0013 – A Mammoth Task

For some, Christmas is a chance to spend money they don’t have in order to buy presents no one needs for people they’d rather not spend their precious vacation days seeing. For yours truly, it’s a time to cut out of work early, park inside my tiny Main Street apartment, crank the electric baseboard heaters, and do nothing at all.

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#0012 – Return to Self

Every year, when fall arrives, I mirror the arresting change from long, bright days into deep, black nights.

Existing on the edge of disappearance with my two dollar marble notebook, I find places beyond me that fit the way I think. Park benches take the place of friends. Beaches blanketed by blustery wind, speckled with only a handful of distant silhouettes, become the main boulevard. Somehow, in an all-too-busy life, there’s an abundance of time uncovered; each step forward holding a gentle sense of grace.

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#0011 – Best Friends and Petty Theft

When you’ve known someone for 20 years, there are no limits to what you feel comfortable saying to them. And while Ted and I have had (and continue to have) our issues, our love is like the fat that rises to the top of the soup; but like a heart soup, with insults and acceptance instead of beef and vegetables.

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#0010 – Pure, Perfect Summer Love

Maybe it’s rushing it to start planning a wedding, but we’ve already decided we both want a big table for company and she’s cool with the fact that I lay eggs.

Sure, we moved quick, though tell me one time when pure, perfect Summer Love knocked gently at the door stead of rushing straight in:

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#0009 – Living the Poem

Lately, I’ve been living the poem instead of writing it. Staying out late, dancing under middle-of-nowhere stars, happening upon strangers, or letting them happen to me. For fall is coming, and perhaps the words on pages with it, but summer is for binging on experience then purging the stories she tells.

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#0008 – Something Decidedly Beautiful

It was a weekend off when, after dinner, I decided to head to the docks and the beach, one before the other, pen and two-dollar marble notebook in hand, to scribble out something decidedly beautiful. By the side of children playing and boat whistles blowing, I committed to the act of writing something and calling it poetry. Though narrative and long-winded, the meat of it had cadence; a rhythm. I used to be a drummer, now the kick boom affects my everything.

A friend of mine asked the other night why I do this, and why it matters; if anyone was listening. I don’t know, I replied to all his inquiries, before settling on an answer to the first two questions with a single thought: because it saves me.

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#0007 – Bread and Puppet

The day began with blueberry pancakes, with good friends. Then off we were, riding in an old Volkswagen van, to an iconic Vermont Sunday tradition: a performance by The Bread and Puppet Theater.

There, frog men and jugglers strolled about the grass. Singers sang in different languages. It rained, but the performance continued. Tubas played. Drums were slapped. Rants were ranted and dancers danced (I think I fell in love with the bongo player wearing the lip ring and black sunglasses, but don’t tell her that). After the show, I ended up hanging with a good friend, who explained how maybe the world could be saved by all of us being more okay with the occasional peeing of one’s pants.

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#0006 – Equinox

Unlike some of the previous episodes of this podcast, this one has little to do with me. It’s simply a story I stumbled upon that I felt was important to share…

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a German hiker named Nicola Seitz who was looking for a place to stay for her last night in Vermont. As a longtime couch surfer myself, I told her I was happy to host, so one day after work, just as it began to rain, I drove down a winding mountain road toward the trail head where she would appear. After a brief stop at the farmer’s market and a simple yet hearty dinner of stir-fried vegetables, she offered to show her gratitude by sharing with me an essay she simply referred to as ‘The Document.’

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